WESTCHASE – For someone opening their first business, Gina Deptula has plenty of confidence. There’s nothing, she says, that she can’t do.
Her venture, Craftology 101, recently opened in the Westchase Town Center, where she teaches arts and crafts by appointment, and offers classes and personal instruction. Her classroom is a testament to her belief that anything can be created from simple materials.
On a recent Saturday, kids – for now they are all girls – sat in the room for nearly three hours, making, creating, and using the simplest of materials to make special somethings. Projects are displayed throughout the room including a recent one where the children created large papier-mache valentine’s hearts.
Deptula offers scrapbooking, jewelry making, mixed-media and almost any crafty thing else.
She feels she has a knack for knowing what youngsters want to work on and how to pique their interest.
“I can look at something and tell right away what involves making it into a project,” Deptula said. “I like to do things myself and teach kids how to do things. The spring wreathes we just made look beautiful and it was just about cutting ribbons and rags.”
Craftology 101 opened in December and, for now, is largely getting students through word of mouth. But Deptula has big plans. Besides classes, she is hosting craft-making birthday parties. Next is her “Girls Night Out” events on Fridays, where kids can be left to do projects while their parents get a night out. She is also teaming up with the Westchase Mom’s Club for a Mommy and Me class. Supplies are included for the class fees.
But adults aren’t being left out of the mix. Those classes will start soon with an extra perk – Deptula said she plans on serving wine.
For now, though, she is working hard to build her base, especially fifth- and sixth-graders.
“When they are small they love to do this stuff,” Deptula said. “I have plans for the boys. Little girls love to work with class for their whole lives, but boys tend to move on to baseball and other sports around that age. Maybe we need to come up with some Batman and Spider-Man stuff.”
The ideas come from almost anywhere. During her spare time Deptula browses arts and crafts stores. She said she sees projects and immediately knows she can do something similar and teach it as well.
As for the three-hours classes, Deptula said she never gets concerned about the students being bored. She brings in some pizzas and lets the kids go at it.
“Some of them could stay for at least six hours,” Deptula said. “Once they get going, there’s no stopping them.”
The business has been going so well that Deptula recently hired a high school student, her first employee, to help out. She also has tentative plans to start trying to sell crafts kits by launching a retail website. There are also plans for a summer camp.
“I love doing this,” said Deptula, a Westchase resident. “I have a creative mind and I can use it and have fun at the same time.”
Craftology 101 is located at 9638 W. Linebaugh Ave. on the second floor. Call (813) 920-1058.